‘A Treatise on the Sabbath’ – quotes from John Owen

Quotes from A Treatise on the Sabbath: In Which Its Origin, Causes, Nature, and Obligation Are Considered Objections Reputed, and Practical Rules for Its Observance Added written by John Owen (London: 1829).

Known as the ’theologian’s theologian’, John Owen (1616–1683), was vice chancellor of Oxford University and served as advisor and chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. Among the most learned and active of the Puritans in seventeenth-century Europe, he was an erudite and accomplished theologian both in doctrine and practical theology.

  • The Lord originally, out of His infinite goodness (when suitably thereto, by His own eternal power and wisdom He had made all things good) gave unto men a day of rest; thus to express to them His own rest, satisfaction and complacency in the works of His hands, – to be a day of rest and composure to themselves – and a means of their enjoying that rest with Himself, here and for ever, which He had ordained for them. (p. 2)
  • As then people gathered manna of old, soms more, some less, ‘every man according to his appetite, yet he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack’ (Exod. XVI, 18) so is every one in sincerity, according to his own ability, to endeavour the sanctifying of the name of God in the duties of this day; not being obliged by the examples or prescriptions of others. (p. 218)
  • ‘Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.’ We have had a week to our own occasions, or we have the prospect of a week in the patience of God for them: let us remember, that God puts in His claim for some time with us; that all is not our own; that we are not our own lords; that God will have some time to Himself from all that own Him. (p. 222-223)
  • We are to remember, that this day is a pledge of our eternal rest with God. This is at which we ultimately aim. We do at best in this world but enter into the rest of God. Hence it is usually called our everlasting Sabbath; as being that state in which we shall always rest with God, and give glory to Him. (p. 227)